Taking care of oral health when you’re sick


When you’re not feeling the best, the last thing you want to deal with is keeping up your oral health, but it is still important, and in some cases, more care may be required.

It’s not all about following your usual daily routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash – there are other considerations you may need to take into account, including the following:

* Drinking plenty of water – whether you are on medication that is causing a dry mouth, or you have been vomiting, saliva is vitally important in protecting your teeth and gums from bacteria and the corrosive effects of the acid from the content of your stomach. Drinking water will also help to flush these harmful elements from the surfaces of your mouth.

* Your toothbrush – bacteria and germs can remain active on your toothbrush and surrounding surfaces for several hours – even up to 72 hours. It is therefore highly important to keep your toothbrush isolated from others whilst you are sick, and to replace your toothbrush once your symptoms have passed. It would also be a good idea to use a separate toothpaste.

* Vitamins, supplements and medicines – vitamins or lozenges that require you to suck or chew on them are often highly acidic or high in sugar, as are many rehydration drinks. This is bad news for your dental health as it can lead to the growth of bacteria and the erosion of your teeth. Biting down on hard lozenges can also put your teeth at risk of chipping and cracking.

With all of this acidity, you also need to be mindful of not brushing your teeth within half to one hour of consuming acidic or sugary products, or vomiting. This is because the protective enamel layer of your teeth will be softer, and therefore more prone to erosion by the action of brushing.

If you have been sick recently, or are regularly sick, contact our caring Penrith dental clinic for an appointment with a highly experienced Tindale dentist. We are committed to providing the best advice and care for the wellbeing and longevity of your oral health. Contact Tindale Dental Centre today on (02) 4726 5400.


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